Вторник, 12 Декабря, 2017

Flu season severity uncertain

Credit Getty Images Credit Getty Images
Carol Daniels | 08 Декабря, 2017, 01:38

This year's flu season may be rougher than usual, as early reports show the vaccine is only about 10 percent effective.

The flu is making it way northward from the southern United States, where it is widespread, she said.

Darryl Nelson, the chief medical officer for the HCA Midwest Health System, said the system's eight area hospitals have "just started in the last week or two to see a noticeable uptick" in patients with flu-like symptoms.

"We can't make a judgment on how effective it is at this point", said Rebb.

Some infectious disease researchers are blaming the outdated methods for cultivating flu vaccines.

The faulty refrigerator stopped functioning properly October 6, its cooling mechanism running continuously instead of cycling on and off, causing temperatures to drop to -3.4 C, effectively destroying the potency of two of three types of flu vaccines it stored, both the conventional one and a high-dose variant used for those ages 65 and older.

"As we prepare for a potentially severe influenza season, we must consider whether our current vaccines can be improved and whether longer-term, transformative vaccine approaches are needed to minimize influenza-related morbidity and mortality", they wrote.

But if you haven't gotten your flu shot already, are you doomed to become one of them?

Читайте также: Amazon offers prime membership service for free global shipping and video streaming

Influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent getting the flu, but it takes up to two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. A typical case can last close to a week; serious complications include dehydration and pneumonia.

However, even an imperfect vaccine can help prevent or lessen the severity of illness, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

It is impossible to contract a case of flu from the vaccine.

In B.C., for instance, low levels of H3N2 infection have been confirmed since the beginning of the season in late August, but a strain known as B/Yamagata has also been found circulating within the population.

If you do get flu, keep it to yourself, Mills said. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching surfaces that others touch, such as doorknobs and handrails. In some cases, a health provider will prescribe over the phone and avoid having sick individuals come in to the office with their germs.

The U.S. may also be in for a severe season, as the H3N2 strain has been a dominating presence in early reports.

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